Monday, February 11, 2013

Heavy And Light (Show) 2/8/2012

I figured I would go ahead and discuss  "Heavy and Light" and "To Write Love On Her Arms"  with you. I want it to be known, and TWLONHR wants it to be known that this was not a "come out for a good cause" type of show. Instead it was a night of inspirational music, spoken word, and conversation designed to let you know that your life matters, your story is important, and people need other people. Part of their mission is also to connect people to treatment and sources of help for those facing substance abuse, depression, and loss. I think this is a good thing.

 I came to the Cannery Ballroom mainly for the purpose of seeing Fiction Family without knowing the whole purpose behind this event. I left with a new found appreciation for the event in itself and a couple new favorite artists along with Fiction Family. The bill for the night included Noah Gundersen, Now,Now,  Bryce Avary, Aaron Gillespie, Anis Mojgani, and Jon Foreman & Fiction Family. I think I'm only going to elaborate on Noah Gundersen, Anis Mojgani, and Fiction Family because they were my favorites, and I don't really like trying to force a review for artists I wasn't all in for.

Noah Gundersen with his sister Abbey on fiddle and backup vocals kicked off the night for us. They made their way down from Seattle to bring their heartfelt folky tunes all the way to us in Nashville. On a side note, I think Seattle and the Pacific Northwest is the only other area in the States where I could be satisfied with the music scene besides Nashville and the Southeast. Also, I am a always a sucker for a good, deep folk tune with only an acoustic guitar, harmonica, and a fiddle. It was just one of those sets where you just stand there with a stupid awestruck grin on your face. The power of the two siblings collaborating was undeniably perfect. Throughout the set he tackled the impossibly tough issues of religion and love. One of my favorite lines was from the tune "Jesus, Jesus" when it concluded with "Jesus, Jesus could you call me if you have the time? And maybe we could drink some whiskey and work it out." I don't think some of the crowd could appreciate what the song really meant, but it made perfect sense to me. Throughout the night, he and his sister were repeatedly called back up on stage to play with everyone else. Noah will be back in Nashville at the 12th & Porter on April 4th. Go check him out if you dig his stuff below. I know I will be there if I am in town.

Cigarettes-Noah Gundersen

Jesus, Jesus - Noah Gundersen

Alright, next up is Anis Mojgani. What a gifted individual he is. I had become familiar with some of his material a while back through some sampling in some post-rock tracks. After seeing him perform live, I was completely blown away. His words and delivery are so powerful.  I am no expert in the spoken word movement, but I know he is among the best of the best as a two time winner of the National Individual Poetry Slam. He performed two of his best, at least my favorite, poems "Here Am I" and "Shake The Dust". Instead of me trying to elaborate more, just listen to his performance in the video below, and you will get it.

1. Direct Orders, 2. Here Am I, 3. Shake The Dust - Anis Mojgani

And for the finale, we have Jon Foreman & Fiction Family. I just refer to them as Fiction Family, but it was billed Jon Foreman & Fiction Family, whatever. Fiction Family's two key members are Jon Foreman, vocalist and guitarist of Switchfoot and Sean Watkins, former guitarist and vocalist of Nickel Creek. It seems like an odd combination, right? You would never question it after hearing them play together. I have been a huge fan of all their endeavors for many years now. I consider myself fortunate to have seen them as Fiction Family twice now because at the current rate they do these shows they're about 4 years apart. Jon opened up the set by himself playing his solo effort tune "Behind Your Eyes". Then he stood away from his mic, unplugged his guitar, and led the crowd in the Switchfoot song  "Dare You to Move". I don't care who you are, that is such a powerful, inspirational song especially with only the audience singing and Jon barely audible. He then brought out the rest of the band including Sean. I consider them to basically be a folk group with rock tendencies. Both Jon and Sean traded off lead vocals throughout the night, and their harmonies blended together very nicely. They hit several tunes from their newly released album "Fiction Family Reunion". Two of my favorites off the new album which were played that night are "Give Me Back My Girl" which is poppy and catchy and "Just Rob Me" which is a comical folk tune with Sean Watkins shredding a bluegrass guitar solo. They continued to hit songs from their first release and some of Jon's solo effort songs. At the end of the show, they brought everyone who had performed over the course of the night and played Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" which summed up the entire event. Below, I have both of Fiction Family's albums and Jon Foreman's solo album available for you to listen to via Spotify.

In summary, this was an inspirational night full of positivity and hope. You are here for a reason, and your story has a purpose. Don't ever forget that. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read our blog! Also, a big shout out goes to my buddy Adam Tilson for letting me use his pictures.